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Holinger discovers drawing talent, inspired by immersion experiences

Photo by Hunter Franklin ’19 | Jackson Hollinger ’18 works on a drawing of his during lunch on Dec 13th, 2017

By Matthew Zacher ’18


Jackson Holinger ’18 started drawing in Ms. Deb Cronin’s 2D Art Drawing class as a freshman, and has since advanced to AP Studio Art, drawing inspiration from the people he met on Brophy’s Guatemala immersion trip in the process.

“He is a wonderful artist,” Ms. Cronin said. “He is a great draftsman. Some people are just creative or just a good draftsman, but he is the total package.”

Ms. Cronin said that Holinger’s humility is so sincere that it is almost funny.

“He is so modest,” she said. “He doesn’t think he is good. I actually convinced him into taking AP.”

She said that Holinger has improved greatly since his freshman year, but that she still has to convince him at times that he is a great artist.

“He thinks he can’t do things,” she said. “You almost have to talk him into it, but he really can. He is such a capable artist in all different media.”

Holinger said he was disappointed with his initial attempt at a portrait with his drawing of Larry Fitzgerald as a freshman, but that his successful depiction of Kendrick Lamar encouraged him to continue as an artist.

“I gave up on drawing freshman year after Larry Fitzgerald,” Holinger said. “However, I came back junior year and I drew Kendrick Lamar. I wanted to draw it perfect, and, in my eyes, I did.”

Holinger said that his primary inspiration for his works are people he has met. His Kendrick Lamar portrait was inspired by his friend Samuel, whom he met while on the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos immersion trip to Guatemala.

“Samuel is the first one who inspired me to draw,” he said. “He is a 25 year-old orphan from Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Haiti who I met in Guatemala. He and I clicked, we had a lot in common. After talking to him, I realized how important Kendrick Lamar was to him, and thus how important he was to me.”

Holinger said that he drew the Lamar portrait for Samuel, and that is why he tried so hard to get it right.

“Every drawing has an inspiration,” he said. “I want to draw it for someone or I want to draw it for myself, so that it has a special meaning that inspires me to do my best.”

Jake Inzalaco ’18 has known Holinger for 13 years, and he has witnessed Jackson’s progression from freshman to senior year.

“After the Larry portrait, he has really started to branch out,” Inzalaco said of Holinger. “I knew he had the ability in him, and now with drawings like ‘The Walking Man’ and ‘Son of Man,’ Jackson can draw anything.”

Inzalaco said that Jackson is always thinking about new possibilities of what he can draw, evidence of his passion for drawing.

“Every day when we walk into class he always has a new reference,” he said. “He is like, ‘dude this would be sick to draw, this would be awesome to draw, I saw this on Instagram and I am thinking about drawing this.’ He is always thinking about new possibilities to challenge himself.”

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